Bayreuth Singers - Series 5 - Page 1

Historic Opera
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Austrian soprano Claire Born (Vienna: 1898 - ?) began her vocal training in Vienna. At the Vienna State Opera she was particularly noted for her lyric roles in Figaros Hochzeit, Freischütz, Zauberflöte, Fledermaus, and Götterdämmerung. In 1924 (25?) she appeared at the Bayreuth Festival and sang in Götterdämmerung and Meistersinger. From 1922-27 she appeared regularly at the Salzburg Festivals. In 1929 she became the successor of Meta Seinemeyer at the Dresden Opera, after that soprano’s untimely death. Born appeared in the world premiere (9 Sep 1926) of Hindemith’s opera, Cardillac. In 1933 she left Germany due to the political problems there, and went to London. Swedish soprano Lilly Hafgren-Waag (Stockholm: 7 Oct 1884 - Berlin: 27 Feb 1965) is now Lilly Hafgren-Dinkela, reflecting her second marriage. She first trained as a pianist but was advised by Siegfried Wagner to take up singing. She was invited by Siegfried Wagner to the 1909 Festival (debut: Freia), subsequently returning in 1911, 1912 and 1924. She was a favorite Elsa, and her Eva was highly praised by the Bayreuth critics. Her successes in Bayreuth led to contracts in Mannheim, Milan, Dresden and Berlin. Anny Helm ((Vienna: 20 Jul 1903 - Bibione: 21 Aug 1993) as Brangane. Austrian soprano. Taught by Marie Gutheil-Schoder and Gertrude Förstel in Vienna and Ernst Grenzebach in Berlin. She made her début (1924) at Magdeburg. Berlin Staatsoper (1927). Bayreuth (1927-1931) as Brangäne and Venus. In 1933 she married (1933) Giuseppe Sbisà, director of the Trieste Opera, and continued her career as Anny Helm-Sbisà. Sang at La Scala, Verona, Convent Garden in the 1930s. Emmy Krüger [-Nachlese] (Frankfurt/Main: 27 Nov 1886 - Zurich: 13 Mar 1976) as Isolde. An important Bayreuth/Munich star of 20s-30s. Olin Downes (New York Times) reviewed the Wagner Festival on 28 Aug 1927. He said, "Emmy Kruger's principal and unfortunate defect as Isolde is her management of her high tones, which are produced from the chest instead of the head register, and therefore fall her. It is a pity, because an improved method of singing would make her an excellent Isolde. She has dramatic line, the grand style; when she handles her voice well its essentially fine quality is demonstrated." Swedish soprano Nanny Larsén-Todsen (1884-1982) as Isolde. She was a major attraction at the Bayreuth Festivals (1927-1931), particularly known for her Brünnhildes and Isolde. She was a first-rank Wagnerian singer.
Frida Leider (18 Apr 1888 - 4 June 1975): German soprano. Debut (1915) at Halle as Venus in Tannhaüser. Sang in Rostock, Hamburg, La Scala, Paris Opéra, Vienna, Munich, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Brussels, Covent Garden, Chicago Opera, Metropolitan Opera, etc. Considered one of the most famous Wagnerians of her generation. During WWII, toward the end of her career, she had difficulties in Germany because her husband, violinist Rudolf Deman, was Jewish. He fled to Switzerland. Nevertheless, she remained devoted to him. Seen here as Kundry. Austrian tenor Rudolf Ritter (Brux, Austria: 19 Jan 1878 - ) as Siegfried. He was at first an army officer. He studied voice in Vienna, and made his debut at the Vienna Volksoper in 1910. It was there that he sang the role of Primus Thaller in the world premiere of Der Kubreigen (1911). His Siegfried was seen at the 1924 and 1925 Bayreuth Festivals, which is a good indication of the approximate date of these postcards. Ritter was part of the 1930 German Opera Company which toured many western and mid-west cities in the United States.
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